DALLAS (KDAF) — Since 2006, the Grant Halliburton Foundation has trained more than 300,000 students, teachers, parents and professionals on how to help people in mental distress or suicidal crisis.

The foundation was established in memory of Grant Halliburton, a Dallas teen who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before his suicide death at age 19. The Foundation that bears his name works to help people recognize the signs of mental illness through a variety of avenues including mental health education, collaboration, encouragement, and information.

“We do believe that there is hope, and that’s the business that we’re in at the Great Halliburton Foundation,” said Shauna Barnes, Mental Health Education Manager. “There’s a lot of ways that we can try to help prevent suicide. One of the first ones is just talking about mental health in general, talking about it in our families, at the dinner table, in schools, in offices, just to have that conversation be more open so that people can talk about the things that they’re struggling with. And then if something more serious is going on, if somebody feels like they are developing depression or anxiety, being able to be open about that and then hopefully we can get those people help before the situation becomes a crisis.”

According to the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 42 percent of high school students report experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and 22 percent reported seriously considering suicide. Mental health is complex — factors like individual experiences, family dynamics, societal inequalities, the effects of the pandemic, coping skills, relationships all play a part in the current situation. Economic barriers and lack of access to mental health care can exacerbate the problem even more.

The Foundation also developed Here For Texas, which includes HereForTexas.com, an online searchable database of mental health resources in Texas, and the Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line, a free helpline. These no-cost community tools aim to offer easy access for Texans seeking mental health and addiction resources and information.

Learn how to get involved and make a difference in North Texas.